tv [untitled] April 25, 2012 10:00pm-10:30pm PDT
>> good evening. i am the visit -- executive director of rainbow -- rainbow world fund. welcome to the sixth annual world tree of hope tree lighting party. [applause] thank you. for those of you are not familiar with rainbow world fund, we're international humanitarian aid agency based in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. we work within our community to educate people about issues of world need in humanitarian aid. as we raise our communities
consciousness, we raise funds to support committed the relief efforts and development projects around the world. we are gay and straight people coming together to heal the world. our work good -- work focuses on when my new medication, hunter, safe drinking water act says, global hiv, and disaster relief. we have projects that we support in cambodia, haiti, honduras, guatemala, south africa, we have also worked to help with a number of humanitarian aid disasters around the world, such as the tsunami in southeast asia a few years ago, hurricane katrina, and burst recently, we held out with the earthquake and tsunami that hit northern japan in march but this year, we're dedicating the tree to the victims and survivors of that disaster. [applause]
over the last 11 years, rainbow world fund has distributed $3.2 million in humanitarian aid on behalf of the lgbt and friends community. besides distributing humanitarian aid, we worked to inspire hope in our projects around the world, and we have come to learn that is equally important, if not more so, to foster a spirit of hope in people's lives. i have always believed that hope is the most important energy in the world. we have seen people living in the most desperate circumstances with very little resources, making positive changes in their lives with just a little support. the support that rainbow world fund gives creates hope in people's lives just by letting them know that someone cares about them. that alone is very powerful.
we decided six years ago that we needed to inspire hope in the united states, so we decided to create a global art project called the world tree of hope. the tree behind me is covered with 7000 pieces of origami, the majority of which are cranes. all of the cranes that someone's wishes for the world written on them. wishes are sent to us by snail mail and through the internet. we designed a project so that through the internet, anyone in the world can help decorate the tree by sending in a wage. and we create the tree as a global symbol of unity and as a gift from the world to the lgbt community. we are adding crane wishes throughout the month of december, so please send us your wish for the world if you have not already done so. we have another gift for you tonight.
our volunteers have been distributing friendship bracelets from guatemala. we take the ball on a humanitarian aid for of guatemala every year, and when we come back, we bring back a lot of friendship bracelets to spread the spirit of love from guatemala to the people of united states. we ask that you accept these in the spirit of rainbow world fund's philosophy, and that is that we're all one human family. we ask that you wear the bracelet as a symbol of solidarity with the core of the world. without further ado, i would like to introduce mayor ed lee of san francisco. [applause] >> thank you. thank you, jeff. welcome, everyone. welcome to our season of
celebration but i am so delighted to be here tonight. anita and i to join all of you. i see supervisor winner here. supervisor cohen, fresh from china. our treasure, thank you for being here. thank you for joining us. all of you, for joining us tonight, i really appreciate you coming here to our city hall to really get a community blessing to our tree of hope. this is our sixth year, as jeff stated, and it is one that i have the very personal pleasure of doing this for the first time as your elected mayor. thank you very much for joining us. [applause] this tree of hope has been very special to me, as i have, in the past, participated with good friends like jedd and karen and
so many of the hundreds of volunteers over the years who put this petraeus " together. as -- to put this tree together. as he said, all of you are welcome to submit your wishes as to how we can become a better city, better state, better world for everybody. it is quite appropriate that we join so many friends who have been here for years to have done this, people like donna and peter, rita, linda, veronica, and josh, all of you who have been here for many years to join us in putting this tree up and making is so meaningful. there are over 7000 wishes that we have on on this tree in the past, and we want to exceed that. we know, and it has been significant that the world rainbow fund it exists not only here in san francisco, but is
significantly house owlet -- in our lgbt queue community center, and that they have represented such commitment to make sure that we become a more tolerant and more expressive city and a more diverse city. i want to also thank the great choir that you just heard today, our san francisco boys choir. wasn't that a wonderful presentation from them? [applause] and later on, we will be hearing from our chinese american international school chorus. thank you for being here, case. [applause] we will also be joined by our sisters of perpetual indulgence. thank you very much for joining us here today as well. [applause] i also want to extend to all of
you, tonight is not the only night that you get to help us celebrate these wonderful holidays that are up and coming, but on at the weekend of december 17 and december 18, we will also be opening up our snow village right outside of city hall at civic center. we will be bringing in the real snow and to have our kids fill this wonderful place and experience that, and also on sunday, december 18, we will be continuing our season of giving. please, if you may, you're invited here to join us in the afternoon from 11 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and bring a can of food to help share and help our needy. at the same time, i will be here to help take pictures and enjoy that. if you have not taken a picture of me yet, this is the time, to take it with you. we will be doing that tonight as
well. i have an even and i will be leaving for shortly, but i will be coming right back here to enjoy the evening with you, and hopefully with our lights on on our new tree of hope. i also want to extend a very warm welcome to our honorable hiroshi, our council general of japan to please come forward. i would like to present an exchange at this time, our cranes, which are messages of hope, and as jeff said earlier, at this year there is a special message we want to deliver, one i have personally been involved in, and i wanted our counsel general from japan to be here, to which not only the council general but to the people of japan all of our great wishes as they recover from the very devastating earthquake and tsunami in japan, and that this is an appropriate time to get
that exchange. and if i may, i would like to present the council general this message of hope and our cranes. [applause] >> good evening, ladies and gentlemen. thank you, mayor ed lee. actually, this is my second time to take part in the city of hope celebration. i would really like to extend my thanks to reno world fund and the mayor and the people who are coming to join today's celebration. so many things come to mind when we approach the idea of hope. some of the first that strike me our hope during troubled times and hfo